Draft notebook: 2nd-round pick Goodrum bulking up, likely will play OF
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins plan to start second-round draft pick Niko Goodrum at his natural position of shortstop, but scouting director Deron Johnson acknowledged Tuesday night the switch-hitting Georgia prep standout's destination probably is in the outfield.
"He's got a great body," Johnson said. "He's got really good tools. He can play multiple positions. He's got a chance to play center (field). He might be a corner outfielder. We like his bat. He's a switch hitter, he's a plus runner, he's got a plus arm -- really good athlete."
According to Johnson, Goodrum -- whom MLB.com listed at 6-foot-3 and 167 pounds -- has bulked up to between 180 and 185.
"He's built along the lines of (Baltimore outfielder) Adam Jones," Johnson said. "He's a slimmer guy now, but his dad was an offensive lineman in college, a really big man, strong. (Niko)'s a guy that can go either way, positively."
Asked whether Goodrum could stay at shortstop, maximizing his value, Johnson said, "We'll wait and see. If he can stay there, it'll definitely be a bonus. But we see him as either a center fielder or a corner outfielder."
DOWN THE LINE
Johnson also provided quick takes on the players the Twins selected in Rounds 3 through 6 on Tuesday.
• Pat Dean, LHP, Boston College: "He's a college left-hander we targeted early in the spring. We believe he's a starter. He's got a full mix, throws strikes, he's aggressive. Not a real physical guy, but he's got an average fastball -- he throws 90, 91 with really good makeup."
• Eddie Rosario, OF, Rafael Lopez Landron H.S.: "Kid from Puerto Rico. He's an offensive player with good tools, another good athlete. Left-handed hitter. We believe he's got a chance to have power. He's a solid-(to)-average runner, and he can throw as well. He can play center field or the corner."
• Nate Roberts, OF, High Point University: "Nate Roberts is a bat we liked out of High Point, North Carolina. We believe he's got a chance to have a middle-of-the-order bat. Left-handed hitter, he hit 19 home runs this year, and he can either play first base or a corner outfield position."
• Logan Darnell, LHP, University of Kentucky: "He's been a starter all year. His numbers didn't end up really good, but he's got a very good arm -- he's been up to 94. He's got a good slider. We see him as a bullpen guy."
Through 30 rounds, the Twins have drafted 15 pitchers -- including 10 in a row from Rounds 12 through 21.
"Those are guys that we liked at targeted, and fortunately, they got to us," Johnson said. "We made a run, and I wouldn't say it was an organizational need, but it was something that we definitely wanted."
Standing nearby, vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff chimed in, "I'll say it was an organizational need."
In fact, the Twins had enough needs Radcliff suggested the team may sign more than 50 percent of its draft picks -- up from past years.
The draft's final 20 rounds are on Wednesday.
• The Twins used a ninth-round pick on Gophers catcher Kyle Knudson. "We like his makeup," Johnson said. "He handles a pitching staff well. He calls his own games, so his transition to pro ball should be easy. He can throw, and he's got a little pop in his bat."
• Tenth-round pick J.D. Williams -- son of former big leaguer Reggie Williams and a middle infielder at Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School in Florida -- profiles as a center fielder, Radcliffe said, but will start his minor-league career at second base. "I think he's the fastest kid we took," Johnson said. "Runs a 6.5 60. ... He's got bloodlines, he's been around the game."
• Johnson and Radcliffe both indicated the toughest player to sign likely will be 14th-round pick DeAndre Smelter, a right-handed Georgia prep pitcher with a scholarship to Georgia Tech. "Some think he has a chance to be a starter; others think he's going to be a bullpen guy," Johnson said. "But he's a tremendous athlete."